Why?

We keep asking why as if it were the most important thing in the world. As if unraveling this mystery would somehow bring everyone back or prevent the next tragedy. It won’t. It’s partly because of our innate nature as humans to assume that there is a logic behind everything. And it’s partly because we just feel helpless. Because we feel we are owed an explanation, because we feel the victims are owed an explanation, because we feel that understanding may somehow help us fix the problem.

But I’m done. I don’t care why. And I think it’s not only unnecessary, but dangerous to keep digging. Because shootings are never logical. Nothing justifies murder in any case, but certainly nothing justifies the murder of innocent strangers. And when there is a motive behind such an act, it is the very intent of the shooter to have us analyze and analyze until his or her intentions are known. And we walk right into it. Other times, there is no motive. And it’s merely somebody who had a psychotic break. In any case, whatever explanation we come up with will never be enough. Nothing justifies murder.

We need to stop. We need to become obsessed with something else. Something that actually honors the victims. Like I don’t know, maybe taking decisive steps toward gun control to prevent anybody who gets a little urge to buy a fucking assault weapon? Or getting rid of legislation that justifies discrimination against LGBTQIA and other minorities? We need to get angry. We are now so numb to tragedy that a mass shooting will leave us reeling for a couple days or maybe weeks and then we forget. We forget the pain endured by mothers and fathers, husbands and daughters, sons and daughters. We forget the fear that these victims felt in the last moments of their lives. We forget the sacrifices that individuals may have made for their loved ones. We forget all the potential each of these individuals had and the gaping emptiness that their worlds, our worlds, are left with. And when we forget these things, are we even really human anymore?

TL;DR I’m fucking pissed.

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Graduation

I graduated college today. I always knew this day would come, I’ve been privileged enough to never doubt that I would in fact graduate, but I don’t feel prepared. I’m just not ready to let go.

It’s something entirely different to have spent the past four years encased in a tiny little bubble, with endless resources at my fingertips, with the knowledge that if I fell, someone would catch me. And during my time at Williams, this has all held true. It’s not that I didn’t struggle at all. Over these past four years, I have experienced some of the happiest moments of my life. Those true picture perfect moments you find in movies where you just can’t help but smile and feel content. But I’ve also experienced my darkest moments, some really horrifying experiences. And at points, I just didn’t know if it would make it through.

But I don’t regret any of it. Williams has given me what I needed, and in a way, I do know that it’s time to leave. It’s taught me that it’s good to struggle, to fall. Because you learn to pick yourself up. And contrary to what I said before, it taught me how to do all this independently. I’m proud of the fact that over the years, I’ve grown from being dependent on others to learning how to take care of myself. I’ve learned to spend time with myself without panicking about being alone and I’ve learned to cherish this time. Williams has profoundly changed me and helped my become a better version of myself, one that sometimes I am proud of. I still have a lot to learn and develop, but I don’t know how much more I could have done at college. I know it’s time to leave.

But there’s this bubble in my chest. I don’t know what it is. Probably a combination of fear, doubt, anxiety, and just plain terror. I finally figured out how to do it. And now it’s being taken away. Now I have to go do something new. The friends that I spent four years developing relationships with will no longer be at a moment’s reach. My actions will have consequences beyond bad grades. The things that I do will be real, and I will be entirely responsible for them.

And what if I can’t do it? What if I enter the world and find that I’m simply not good enough. That I simply can’t do the things I always dreamed of. That my future isn’t the way I planned it to be (because I know it never is). I know that challenges lie ahead of me and that they must because success doesn’t come without struggle. But I just want it to be easy. Or what if I’ve left my best years behind me? Whatever rickety mess this was? What if I didn’t appreciate it enough? What if I could have done it better?

I guess this is just a record of the jumbled mess my brain is right now. This entire day, I’ve been trying to remind myself to look forward to challenges, to smile when they fall upon me, and to react with poise. But I also just want to cry like a mf baby. And like I need some calm adult to talk me down because I know that everyone feels this way right now, and everyone gets through it.

I hope that one day I can look back on this post and smile with the knowledge that everything turned out okay. I just needed to let it out.

Win some Lose some

So it’s finally over…and I didn’t win. Like yeah, I’m a little sad because I worked really hard and invested a lot of energy into this. But so did everyone else. I’m glad its over. I’m glad that I put in the effort and got to a place that I’m proud of. That I recovered from the debacle that was one first two years at college. That I competed gracefully and didn’t let this consume my life the way it has in the past.

Because now I enjoy it.

I’ve also found myself surrounded by love and support over the past few weeks. Just when I thought I had lost hope in people. I guess when I think back, this competition has brought me a lot of good. Sure, its brought me stress and taken up a lot of time. But I learned to believe in myself again. I got my passion back. And I’ve learned a lot about losing.

In the end, growth can come from the unexpected I guess.

I don’t know when it happened

I don’t know when in my life I somehow convinced myself that I wasn’t worth it. That I would never amount to anything. That I didn’t deserve anything. So I stopped trying, doing the things I loved, striving, being who I was. I guess it was fear of inevitable failure. I’m not exactly sure what led to this. I mean I have a vague idea, but it wasn’t one thing in particular. And anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

I’ve turned a corner recently. Actually it was a really long corner. Razor sharp edges. But somehow I made it. I began to realize that this life was mine to live and striving for failure is inevitable. It is a rarity in life to be the best at something or to be perfect or to be the person that you want to be. But being able to experience and grow and change, that is living.

Life is shaped by those tiny glimmering moments, when a smile creeps up your lips unexpectedly. When you feel that little flutter in your gut and that warm glow in your chest. It’s the anticipation in your beating heart before you do something exciting or nerve-wracking. Life is sitting down with a cup of tea after a long day’s work and being proud that you went out and did it. Or spending the day in bed curled up in a blanket because its your life and fuck it.

I think I spent a lot of my life changing myself to be someone I thought I wanted to be. Trying to find a sense of belonging and self-worth. Maybe it was there all along. Because I’ve never been happier. I’m working hard, doing the things I love, and soaking up the moments.

I guess I’m writing now because I’m heading into a semester full of unknowns. Things that could go fantastically or horribly wrong. I’m taking a risk and doing something that tore me apart physically and mentally years ago. I’m afraid, but I hope that this time, I’ll be able to face everything gracefully, with my head held high, just there to enjoy the moments. But who knows…

Satisfaction

I’ve become quite obsessive this year. It seems like every time my life starts turning one way or another, I dive headfirst into whatever’s going on. When things starts to go wrong and I wallow in self-pity and give up on everything. This year has been fantastic. I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better. But I’ve become obsessed with perfection. And obsessed with flaws. It’s actually become quite an obstacle to my everyday life because once something goes wrong, just one tiny thing, I can’t stop thinking about it. What’s the point of life going well if you can’t appreciate what’s going well. I’m starting to formulate my New Years resolutions for 2016 and I know this is going to be an important part. Because I’ve made so much progress this year, but I’ve become to obsessed with planning out my perfect future that I literally don’t know how to just stop and relax anymore. Even now, I’m done with my semester, I have a job lined up, I couldn’t possibly plan things out anymore, but I’m still fucking obsessed. And even worse, the reason I haven’t been writing is because I kept telling myself I needed to set aside time to write out a perfect post. Planning was a good idea at the start of the year because I needed to figure out how to get my life back on track, but now that it is, I can’t seem to stop. So here I am putting an end to this madness. And just for kicks, throwing out some spontaneous ideas:

-consciously allot yourself one mistake a day

-start meditating again, even if its for five minutes a day

-pick an activity to do imperfectly (even if that means just watching netflix episodes out of order)

-take time to appreciate what is going well

-accept that nothing horrendous is going to happen if you make a mistake. your life is not going to spiral out of control no matter what you think. stop fearing the past

Brainstorm

I’m hitting a writer’s block and I feel like its because I haven’t written in a while. Well I have, but I’ve sorta kept it to myself. I guess I’ve been using it as a means to get really horrible thoughts out of my head and it more or less cleanses for me for like the next 15 days. I’m getting kind of emotional today. Well, I guess as emotional as I can get, which is me sitting here expressionless whispering: “get it together, maggie. don’t let any of your feelings leak out.” I guess i feel like if something were to slip out, it would all come flooding out and then I’d have a goddam mess on my hands. no, this is easier. i’m content. i’m safe. i’m happy. what more can i ask for. how can i be satisfied, but dissatisfied? why do i feel like everything i say is half a lie? i’m genuinely happy, but i also feel like there’s something unexplainable inside. waiting to pounce right when i least expect it. whatever. i’m feeling kind of annoyed and invalidated right now. but who the fuck really cares how i feel? wait, that actually explains a lot…

The Final Stretch (i.e. goals, revised)

I’ve been pretty happy with 2015. I think life is meant to get better and happier as time goes on, and it’s a good sign when this happens. It means that you’ve learned from the past and incorporated it into the present. Of course, it’s impossible to be perfect, to be perfectly happy as things are… but in a way, that just makes the future more exciting. So I’ve set a few goals for myself to focus on as I enter senior year, not for the purpose of achieving them fully, but to give me something to strive toward. They center around a quote by one of the most random people on earth, the North Pond Hermit, who lived in solitude for 27 years. When asked about his reflections on the human condition (following arrest for burglary), he stated:

I did examine myself […] Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing – when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.

My goal is certainly not to become a hermit, but to live for myself, independent of performing for others, independent of the need for affirmation. As I’ve gotten distance from my internship, I’ve realized that these past few months have helped me to take a big step in this direction, but I’m still not quite where I want to be. So here is me solidifying my goals:

  1. Be happy, truly happy with what you have. With who you are. No matter what your physical conditions are.
  2. Take care of yourself wholeheartedly. Focus on doing things that you want to do, not things that you feel pressure to do.
  3. Be accepting of the happiness of others. Practice some metta.
  4. Feel as intensely as you can feel. Love as intensely as you can love. Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to get hurt.
  5. Remember that you are dealing with something that does make your life a little more difficult than the lives of others. Understand what that means, and accept it. Know your limits and respect them. Be grateful.
  6. Don’t be deterred from your ultimate goal. It’s okay if it changes or evolves. Just remember to stride toward it as wholeheartedly as you can.
  7. Take ten minutes for yourself every single day, whatever that means.
  8. Don’t limit yourself or be afraid to take risks. That’s what life is about.
  9. Love love love yourself. Don’t apologize for being you. Work everyday to be the best version of yourself. And don’t look back at those who didn’t care enough to cast you a second glance.
  10. Celebrate failure.

I guess with that, I head into the first day of my senior year of college.